Awe is good for you, and the world

People who experience a sense of awe feel more satisfied with life, have more patience, prefer quality life experiences over material goods, and volunteer more of their time to help others.

Melanie Rudd, Kathleen Vohs, and Jennifer Aaker published study results on this topic in the October 2012 issue of Psychological Science.  Their experiments showed that awe prompts a feeling of being “rich in time.”

“Time stood still.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? When we experience awe, we stop what we’re doing, soak it up, and allow well-being to permeate our defenses to our very soul.

“Mediation analyses revealed that these changes in decision making and well-being were due to awe’s ability to alter the subjective experience of time. Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment, and being in the present moment underlies awe’s capacity to adjust time perception, influence decisions, and make life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.” —”Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being” Psychological Science, October 2012

Rudd, Vohs, and Aaker provide experimental evidence to support centuries-old spiritual practices: Buddhist meditation, the Judeo-Christian “I am,” the Be Here Nowof Ram Dass, and The Power of Now of Eckhart Tolle.

Let’s practise awe-chasing

We benefit, and the world benefits, when we allow ourselves awe. We benefit, and the world benefits, when we pursue activities to converge with it. Whether it’s through awe-inspiring science, stories, prayer, or meditation, slow down, and open your mind.


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